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struggling on interferon

irishfighter's picture
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2006

Hello everyone. I'm new to the board, was diagnosed june with stage 3 metastic mel. 1 positivie node, had both the SNB and LND surgeries, now on 1 year interferon. I got through the IV month but to my unpleasent suprise I am finding the lower dosage self injections to be quite hard. Lots of depression, severe fatigue, don't feel like myself, weight loss, etc etc etc. I'm on my 2nd mnth and overwhelmed with how much further I have to go. I'm also only 24 yrs old. Any advice or words of encouragement would be much appreciated.

THEOSTEENS147's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2006

Keep up the good work.My hubby is thinking of doing Interferon.We read maingal page ,She is our insperation and angel.Look at her page.She also has a web site www.OperationSunShield.org.PLEASE GO THERE,and read her story.(lots of encouragement.)Good luck w/ the rest of your treatment.Keep us informed.God bless

THEOSTEENS147's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2006

It's just me again I miss wrote maingal page the correct is mainegal (sorry)
keep up the great work .just think of all the things YOU WILL do when your treatment is done .KEEP THINKING !!!!!!!! God bless your in our prayers

Carvs's picture
Posts: 30
Joined: Jul 2005

I also have Stage III melanoma. I had a lymph node dissection but chose not to do interferon. There are a lot of people who post on the MPIP who have done interferon so you might want to post there too. The address is http://www.mpip.org/bb/bbindex.html Best wishes, Carver

Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2007

Hi, my name is Kirsten I was diagnosed with stage 2 melanoma and I'm only 15 so I have no idea what some of you are saying? Can you please help me I'm lost? What is interferon?

Hander's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2006

Diane I know you must be scared out of your mind...I know I was. My name is Heather and I am 28 and was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma this past October. To let you know what everyone was talking about....Interferon is a type of treatment for Melanoma. As you are only stage 2, I doubt your doctors will recommend it. Interferon is like a type of chemo and is used to shrink cancer cells by using your own immune system. The reason I say you probably won't get it, is because you haven't metasticized. Meaning that your melanoma hasn't moved to anywhere else in your body. Mine (being stage 3) was found in my groin lymph nodes and my pelvic lymph nodes. I have had surgery to remove all nodes in those areas. I hope all of this helps you. I'm not an expert but I've researched the heck out of this stuff. I suggest you do too. Hope all goes well with you!

Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2006

let me know how you get on as interferon is suggested for me too

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2003

I also am new to the boards. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Malignant Melanoma. Had surgery to remove top cartilage of my right ear and 3 lymph nodes in my neck.
I did 13 months of Interferon...via I.V. for 5 days a week for 4 weeks. Then 12 months of injections. To tell the truth Interferon is >TOUGH I lost 25 pounds, was on high doses of Vicodin because of SEVERE pain in my bones. Had flu-like symptoms, always fatigued, and also felt depressed. But you know what? I made it! I finished treatment December 13, 2002...it took time to recover from the treatment...but I MADE IT! Spend time talking with friends and family. Do things that you enjoy. take care of yourself MENATLLY and EMOTIONALLY too.
It's a FIGHT--but it is WELL WORTH IT!

Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2007

I have been on Interferon for 8 months. Having a tough time. Fear of reaching the end of treatment and what do I do then? How long before you felt better? I am so depressed, tired and the body aches are ungodly! Some words of encouragement please!

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2007

Hi - I have/had stage2C 6mm deep under the fingernail the end of the finger now amputated. I am now into my third month of Interferon. I have been looking around for people’s experiences as there are many things you can do to help. Firstly taking 10miu every two days with a Sunday break was the recommended but did not suit me. I was sick as a dog the following mornings and could not eat/ severe headaches too. I got real flu and thought I was going to die. During the flue I switched to 5miu every evening about 9pm with two paracetamol just before bed just as the effects are kicking in. I still had a Sunday break but was finding that the Monday evening one had bad side effects. So I stopped taking the break and am injecting 5miu every day. More interferon but fewer side effects! I tried stopping the evening paracetamol as I was having indigestion however this resulted in bad back pain in the morning so I take two soluble paracetamol again just before bed. Appetite in the morning is the main problem - I was going for the healthy porridge made with Soya milk and raisins. It is not often I can do that now. Normally it is a banana and Cheerios. I also have a craving for sugar on everything and have switched to a cup of tea with splendor sweetener to stop any weight gain. Keeping fit and active is the key to keeping the side effects down. I try to cycle 6km to work which is a massive struggle when it is cold. Just a nice big walk everyday does the stuff. I am a fairly motivated person (ex-mountaineer and now fell walker) so I can get myself going when it is hard work. The days when I do real exercise and the days I have been sat in front of a computer have real differences. My family always comments on how bright I am after cycling in from work. The family pushes me out of the house to exercise, or comes with me for an evening walk if I have been sedentary that day.

Posts: 3
Joined: May 2007

I'm new to the board too. I completed interferon 3 years ago. I know it's tough!!! You can do it. I don't want to sound like a cheerleader, but you've come this far and you are young and need to look to the future. There were times that were really tough for me but I got through them. I remember my symptoms kept getting less and less severe, so hang in there. Take extra time every day for a nap and say no to extra activities. Good Luck!!!

Posts: 5
Joined: May 2007




klyn25's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2008

I am 28 and undergoing interferon. I am 8months into treatment 15mui 3x's a wk. I was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma stage 4... treatment is rough at times but I have maintained weight and try to stay busy... well as much as I have energy for. I absolutely see myself finishing treatment which ends 11/26/08...YIPPIES
Hang in there... try to stay positive, I wish everyone the best.

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